Mumbai: Another morbid milestone was reached in the state on Tuesday, with close to 300 Covid fatalities being reported, the highest single-day number this year, so far. 297 people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 56,330.
Meanwhile, for the second time in three days, more than 50,000 Covid cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, with 55,469 new infections being recorded, taking the total count to 31,13,354 till now.
In Mumbai too, there was a marginal rise in the daily number of cases in the city, with 10,030 new infections and 31 fatalities being reported in the last 24 hours, with the overall caseload now at 4,72,332, with 11,828 deaths so far. The city's recovery rate fell from 84 per cent until April 1 to 81 per cent on Tuesday. So far 3,82,004 have recovered and been discharged from treatment facilities across Mumbai.
According to a health official, a mutant strain of Covid-19 detected in some of the samples sent to the National Institute of Virology, is a variant of concern in the current surge of cases in Maharashtra. This mutant was first observed in the United States and probably reached the state through people who travelled to India from the US. “The only way to control the spread of the virus is for people to follow Covid-19 preventative behaviour. We have asked the state government to monitor the L452R mutant, which is causing concern,” he said.
Officials said people need to follow precautions seriously and careless attitudes would inflict more difficulties on the state. “We have been observing that most people have stopped taking the pandemic seriously and don’t care about social-distancing norms. This is worrying as not only are they endangering their lives, but also those of their family members,” said a health official.
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman of the Maharashtra Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Technical Committee, said citizens should not be totally dependent on the Covid-19 vaccine as it would not completely protect them from coronavirus. They must adhere to Covid norms, he said. “People should follow all the guidelines issued by the state in public interest, as we cannot completely depend upon vaccines. It would be unwise to do so as we yet don’t know when it is actually going to be available and the level of protection it will give. We are only hoping for the best,” he said.